|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-05-22
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TURKISH DAY PARADEThe 19th Turkish Day Parade, which is traditionally organized in New York each year by the Federation of Turkish-American Associations' (TAA), was celebrated with great enthusiasm. The parade was held in the Dag Hammarskjold park on Madison Avenue and attended by a big crowd including the Turkish Ambassador to Washington Baki Ilkin, New York Consul General Mehmet N.Ezen, the representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ambassador Aytug Plumer, the Chairman of TAA Federation Egemen Bagis, representatives of Turkish associations from Azerbaijan, Crimea, Kyrgyzstan and Turkistan. Goodwill messages from the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, US President Bill Clinton, TRNC President Rauf Denktas, New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, were read out at the parade. /All papers/
 BUSY WEEK FOR PARLIAMENTThis week Parliament is expected to be extremely busy. The coalition partners will get together this week to devise their schedule for the period leading to the July recess. If studies by the deputy chairmen of the parliamentary groups of the three partners -DSP, MHP and ANAP- are finalized by the end of the week, their proposals will be submitted to Parliament's Advisory Council. Elections will be held on May 23, to fill three positions on the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), which will be vacated due to three present members' ends of term. /All papers/
 POLICE WIDEN OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST GROUPSWhile Turkish security forces have been intensifying their raids on fundamentalist terrorist groups, a new operation called 'Malazgirt' has been launched and new suspects apprehended. In operations on Saturday police killed four suspected terrorists in Adana and Istanbul. Two policemen were wounded in the clashes. The security forces also sent seven suspected terrorists, captured in the on-going Operation Hope, to the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) yesterday. /All papers/
 CEM'S LETTER DELIVERED TO KHARRAZIA letter from Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to his Iranian counterpart Kemal Kharrazi, detailing the security forces' recent operations against radical Islamist groups and detainees confessions of an Iranian connection, was delivered to the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Cem's letter was delivered at a time when there have been strained relations between Iran and Turkey over allegations of Iranian involvement in assasinations and murders whose petrerators remain unknown. Cem's letter, which was a response to a message from Kharrazi that was delivered to Ankara by the Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Lavasani, on May 10, was delivered by Turkey's Ambassador in Tehran, Turan Morali, on Saturday. Morali called on the Iranian Foreign Ministry to brief them about the latest developments in Turkey. /All papers/
 TURCO-EGYPTIAN COOPERATIONInterior Minister Sadettin Tantan is currently paying an official visit to Egypt. An accord of memorandum which envisages mutual training in the struggle against drug trafficking and terrorism has been signed between Turkey and Egypt. Tantan who has gone to Egypt as the official guest of his Egyptian counterpart Habib Al Adli held a series of talks yesterday. /Turkiye/
 HUNGARY'S PRIME MINISTER TO ARRIVE IN TURKEYAfter his official meetings in Ankara, Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Oban, will visit Saint Benoit High School in Istanbul. He wil also visit Tekirdag, in which the famous Hungarian hero Ferenc Rakoczy stayed. Rakoczy's grandfather fought with Austria in the 1700s. Rakoczy, who had to leave his country after being betrayed, took shelter in Turkey with his 800 horsemen and lived in Tekirdag until he died. His body was buried in Saint Benoit High School in Istanbul, until his corpse was sent to his country in 1904. It was stated that Oban, who will pay the first visit on this level in 17 years, also wants to visit President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and former President Suleyman Demirel. /Milliyet/
 HUNGARIAN CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF IN TURKEYHungarian Chief of General Staff Gen.Lajos Fodor will arrive in Turkey today as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu. Gen.Fodor will make a series of observations in Ankara and Izmir during his visit to Turkey. He will leave Turkey on May 24. /Turkiye/
 AKBULUT IN EGYPTParliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut went to Egypt yesterday. Akbulut and an accompanying delegation will attend the European-Mediterranean Parliament Speakers' Second Meeting on May 23-24. During the meeting, cooperation between parliaments of the countries will be discussed. Akbulut and the accompanying delegation will return to Turkey on May 26. /Turkiye/
 CAKMAKOGLU IN OMANNational Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu went to Oman yesterday as the official guest of his Omani counterpart Sayyid Badr Al Busaidi yesterday. During his visit, cooperation in the fields of defence industry and military training will be taken up. Cakmakoglu will meet high-ranking officials during a series of contacts in that country. /Turkiye/
 LOGOGLU IN MOSCOWForeign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu, accompanied by a delegation, flew to Moscow yesterday to attend Turkish-Russian regular political talks. The Turkish delegation is expected to begin talks with the Russian delegation this morning, and Logoglu is set to meet Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ovanov this afternoon. The meetings will focus on bilateral relations as well as regional issues that concern both countries. The Turkish delegation will head back to Turkey on Tuesday. /Turkish Daily News/
 TSK'S MBT TENDER TOWARDS THE ENDOne of the main procurements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the multi-billion dollar co-production of the 1,000 main battle tank (MBT) project is coming to end. It is reported that the Undersecretariat for the Defence Industry (SSM) aims to end the tender by the end of July. After extending the deadline once more to give extra time for the firms to fulfill deficiencies in the MBT tender, the SSM plans to receive responses to the tender by May 30. The SSM also indicted that it would receive export license guarantee draft agreements from firms until July 3. The SSM had earlier twice extended the deadline, from November 30, 1999, to January 17, 2000, and from January 17 to June following requests from the bidding companies. The SSM indicated that there would be no delay in the date of the final contender selection, which is set for July 14, 2000. Under the first phase of the MBT project the first tanks are scheduled to be completed by the year 2008. /All papers/
 GOKALP PLEDGES WHEAT PRICE IN LINE WITH STAND-BY DEALAgriculture Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said wheat support prices would be raised on the basis of field costs and would be within the range the government has pledged in its letter of intent to the IMF, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Wheat support prices are a key test in the government's stand-by deal with the IMF and should not exceed world prices by more than 35 %. Gokalp, who is scheduled to meet IMF Turkey-Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli on May 26, said wheat prices would not be calculated according to last year's prices but on the basis of field costs, and that figures stated in the letter of intent would be satisfactory.
 DPT SEES PICKUP IN ECONOMYA quarterly report by the State Planning Organization (DPT) suggested a recovery in the real sector has begun on the basis of existing data for 2000, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The agency said monetary and exchange rate program targets have been achieved in the first four months according to the DPT report. It said month-on-month April whoesale prices inflation was at its lowest in eight years and consumer inflation was the lowest in 13 years, 2.4 % and 2.3 %, respectively.
 COTTARELLI EXPECTS MORE FOREIGN CAPITALIMF Turkey-Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli suggested that more direct and indirect foreign capital would enter Turkey in the coming months, provided that the economic program remains on track. In an interview with the Anatolia News Agency, Cottarelli said the program's results in the first four months were encouraging. He added that a continued commitment to the program would increase investment confidence in Turkey, making it more attractive. Cottarelli is set to pay another visit to Turkey in August for the third program review. The current mission is scheduled to last until end-May or the beginning of June.
 HALKBANK PLANS TO START BANKS IN CHINA, KYRGYZSTAN AND ALGERIAState-owned small- and medium-scale enterprise (KOBI) lender Halkbank plans to start banks in China, Kyrgyzstan and Algeria, General Manager Yenal Ansen told reporters in Diyarbakir yesterday. He said that because several Halkbank customers have allied themselves with Chinese companies, the bank is planning to open a branch or an office in that country. "China is a big importer and has major industrial potential" he added. Halkbank operates banks in Hungary, the Netherlands and Turkmenistan in partnership with foreigners. /All papers/
 BUSINESS ASSOCIATION REVEALS PROPOSALS ON FARM REFORMThe Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) will reveal its proposals on farm sector reform at a conference in Istanbul on May 30, the Anatolia News Agency reports. A report prepared by economics professors from Middle East Technical University (METU) will be debated at the conference. The report calls for a shift to direct income support from the existing price subsidy system, in line with IMF and World Bank guidelines. The report outlines alternative short and long-term farm policies.
 GAP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTThe GAP international airport being constructed on the Sanliurfa-Hilvan highway is almost completed. It will be the biggest airport in Turkey when it becomes functional. Officials said that the GAP international airport was the first one designed as a cargo airport in Turkey. /Star/
 THE FIRST UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCEThe first stage of the unemployment insurance program will start on the first of June. The notice that includes the procedure and principles was promulgated in the Official Gazette yesterday and as part of the 'unemployment insurance, the unemployed people will receive unemployment payments from the fund starting March 2002. The unemployment insurance will be implemented on June as part of the Social Security Law, No: 4447. As part of this law, the State and the worker will pay 2% on the gross salary of the insured worker and the employee will pay 3%. /Cumhuriyet/
 T-SHIRT FOR CLINTON FROM IZMIRBelteks Company, which is one of the establishments of Sahinler Holding Company, stated that they were exporting 250,000 t-shirts produced in Izmir to the US annually and that President Clinton also wears their t-shirts. The General Director of Belteks Company, Davut Hasirkiris, stated that they were producing 550,000 polo t-shirts at their factory every year. /Cumhuriyet/
 ELECTRICITY BIDDING FROM TURKMENISTANThe Turkish firm, Eltem Electricity Industry, which proposed the preferred bid and won the electricity bidding opened some time ago by the Turkmen government. Eltem Electricity Industry won this international bidding, amounting to 62.5 billion dollars.
 MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE'S PREPARATIONIt was stated that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare completed its work to increase its standard of living to that of the European Union (EU) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). It was further stated that the 14 ILO agreements had reached the stage of being approved, most of which are in the naval branch. Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Yasar Okuyan, stated that the 'Commission for Screening International Standards' was established within the Ministry, which will closely follow the directions of the EU and the agreements of the ILO. /Cumhuriyet/
 THREE BANKS ASPIRE FOR ESBANKOyakbank started an initiative to buy Esbank Joint Stock Company, which is within the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), with its total initiatives and industrial establishments. In addition, it was stated that two foreign banks from Germany and Austria were aspired to Esbank AG, which is Esbank Joint Stock Company's bank with five branches in Austria. /Milliyet/
 ATHENS CHANGES ITS MIND CONCERNING THE AEGEAN SEAAthens finally accepted Turkey's suggestion to establish a Turco-Greek political-military committee, which will also discuss the issue of disagreement between the two countries concerning the Aegean Sea. This committee will be formed with the participation of the military officials of the political advisory mechanism, which was formed by the common decision of the Foreign Ministers. This new stage of dialogue between Ankara and Athens was suggested by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, to the Greek Minister of Foreign Ministers, George Papandreou, during Papandreau's visit to Turkey last January. Now Papandreou's positive reply will be delivered to Cem soon. Meanwhile, the Greek government began to prepare for the dialogue that will be developed in this manner. /Milliyet/
 ALTAN OYMEN'S FIRST YEAR AS CHP CHAIRMANIn an interview, Altan Oymen, evaluated his first year as Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Anatolia News Agency reports. Oymen said in his interview that a full year had passed since the CHP annual convention on May 22, 1999, adding, "I believe that there are more positive elements in my first year as CHP chairman than negative ones". In response to a question whether he will confirm his candidacy in the next CHP convention, Oyman asserted, "Of couse, I will nominate my candidacy again. When I started, I had two objectives, which were to restructure our party and subsequently to restructure Turkey. We have yet to achieve these targets. I have projects to finalize and I don't like leaving things half done". /Turkish Daily News/
 TURKISH FISHERMEN HAPPY WITH RAPPROCHEMENT WITH GREECETurkish fishermen in the Aegean region say that the recent rapprochement in Turkish-Greek political relations has had a positive effect on relations between Turkish and Greek fishermen. "We help each other, and we have not been bothered by the Greek coast guard", a Turkish fisherman told the Anatolia News Agency. Some said that the impact on the rapprochement could also be felt in the tourism sector.
 MEDAL OF HONOR FOR KARADAGThe photographer artist, Cerkes Karadag, was given the 'medal of honor' for his contribution to the promotion of the Czech Republic with his album, entitled 'Magical Prag.' This prestigious medal, which is given by the Czech Republic to those who perform intellectual and cultural activities in the area of science, culture, art and politics, was presented to Karadag by the Counsel Lubomir Bazant. /Cumhuriyet/
 VOYAGERS' FAVOURITE CITY, ISTANBULIstanbul was cited as among the best cities in the sea travel. An investigation made among the members of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed that the biggest demand was shown for Europe, Alaska, the Carribean Islands and Canada this year. Chairman of CLIA stated, "There is a huge demand in the European harbours, which was not seen before. This year 1,414 cruise travels will be made to the Mediterranean harbours." According to the investigation of CLIO, the best of these harbours are as follows: Istanbul, Lisbon, Rome, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Geneva. /Hurriyet/
 FESTIVAL ON THE BOSPHORUSFamous names in world music will meet in Istanbul as part of the International Bosphorus Festival between 15 and 29 June. 1600 artists will attend this festival, which has a rich programme ranging from the flemenco to world music, from the ballet to jazz, from pop music to rock music and from the symphony to opera. The activities of the festival will be made at Harbiye Open Air Theatre, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall and Yildiz Palace. /Hurriyet/
 KOLETAVITOGLU'S STATEMENTThe Chairman of the Turkish Tourism Investors' Association (TTYD), Tavit Koletavitoglu, stated they were willing to turn the tourim sector into the locomative sector in terms of harmonizing with the European Union (EU). Koletavitoglu added that the Turkish tourism was not better than the EU member countries in terms of its management standards but that the Turkish tourim was better than them in terms of physical standards. Koletavitolgu said regarding the things that should be done by Turkey to become a member of the EU: "First of all, the work should be made so that our regulations can be harmonized with the EU. Secondly, we should create some projects in order to make use of the special EU sources that are available for the tourism sector. Within this framework, we want to work in a cooperation with the Economical Development Foundation." /Sabah/
 BIGGEST EUROPEAN DISNEYLAND TO BE BUILT IN ANTALYAAntalya is preparing to be the host of one of the biggest projects in Turkey. The meetings between Ata Holding Company and Walt Disney Corporation, which were being held secretly to build one of the biggest entertainment centre in Europe, reached the final stage. According to the news published in the 'Para' magazine, the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Walt Disney Corporation will arrive in Turkey and start this project. A member of the Executive Board of Ata Holding Company, Erhan Kurdoglu, said, "We made an agreement in principle for the implementation of the Disneyland project, which we expect to amount to nearly 1.6 billion dollars according to the first calculations. During the meeting that we held with the officials from Walt Disney administration, they told us that they would meet half of the investment cost." /Sabah/
 TURKISH BOXERS' SUCCESSTurkish boxers came in second in Europe as a team with a total of three gold and two bronze medals. Agasi Agaguloglu won the gold medal in the category of 54 kg, Ramaz Paliani won the gold medal in the category of 57 kg and, once again, Bulent Ulusoy won gold medal in the category of 67 kg. In addition, Salvo Paliani won the bronze medal in the category of 60 kg and Nurhan Suleymanoglu won the bronze medal in the category of 63.5 kg. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CENTRAL ASIAN INITIATIVE BY PUTIN BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz writes on Russian policy regarding the energy lines in Central Asia. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Russian Head of State Vlaidimir Putin made his first visit abroad to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan during, which he achieved successes of strategic importance for his country. These achievements may lessen Turkish influence regarding energy pipelines and military and security matters in the region.
Putin's visits dashed the hopes which were raised during former President Suleyman Demirel's visit to Ashkabad in March and US State Secretary Madeline Albright's visit to Tashkent in April. Whereas those visit were based on hopes and expectations, Putin returned with concrete results.
During Putin's meeting with Uzbek Head of State Islam Kerimov, security matters were mainly discussed and it was agreed to cooperate in the fight against fundamentalism. When it is recalled that this subject is covered by the 'New Defence Doctrine', it can be seen that there is no obstacle for an agreement between Moscow and Tashkent on the issue. Kerimov has stated that Russia is the only country which can guarantee the security of Uzbekistan. Putin has stated that any threat against Uzbekistan will have to face Russia's opposition.
At present Kerimov is angry with Turkey and the US. With every passing day it is becoming clearer that he does not have any expectations from either of these countries. He is angry with the US as it is continually referring to human rights violations and lack of democracy in the country. Turkey drew his anger by sheltering Uzbekistan ERK Democracy Party Chairman Muhammad Salih for a time. Turkey has deported Salih but this was not enough for Kerimov who believed that some of his supporters were still in Turkey.
Turkmenistan Head of State Saparmurad Niyazov is not pleased with Turkey because of the Blue Stream Natural Gas Project agreement Turkey signed with Russia. The common view shared by international gas experts was that if Putin has signed an agreement with Turkmenistan regarding natural gas, Trans-Caspian project may be considered dead, as Turkmenistan does not have the necessary reserves to meet the requirements of both Russia and Turkey.
It is apparent that Turkey is losing its influence in Central Asia where it had pinned its hopes. No one shouhd be surprised if other Central Asian leaders follow suit.
However, the main question here should be, did Turkey ever have influence over Central Asia to lose?".
 DISCUSSION OVER WEU BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu's statements concerning the WEU. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Chief of General Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu has criticised Turkey's exclusion from decision-making mechanisms in a harsh but diplomatic style regarding the European Security and Defence Identity formed within the European Union. He issued important signals to the EU. In an interview published by the Defence and Aviation Magazine General Kivrikoglu said:
'The EU is forming a new structure for defence and security to carry out duties such as humanitarian aid, search and rescue operations in support of peace. However, when carrying out these duties, it does not wish to restructure its defences but avail itself of NATO's capabilities and opportunities. In EU's new structure for defence there are European allies such as Turkey, which have taken an important role in the defence of Europe for 50 years. However, this role does not satisfy Turkey. Turkey believes that it is not satisfactory only to take place in the operations, but that it should be included in the decision-making mechanisms regarding defence and security issues as well. However, so long as the mentality of the EU countries does not change, the countries which are in the same status with Turkey, that is, members of NATO but not of the EU, can only be invited to these operations on the conditions determined by the EU.
General Kivrikoglu also recalled that during the NATO Summit held in 1999 in Washington, Turkey had shown great flexibility, but with a decision later taken by the EU the conditions dictated by the Washington Summit were put aside. This stance of the EU could adversely affect the relations between NATO and the EU. He added that Europe did not have the luxury of breaking its ties with Turkey and the problems between Turkey and the EU erupted from inability to share power.
Kivrikoglu stated, "EU wants to be the only decision making-organization concerning issues of defence and security. If the EU excludes Turkey, the vacuum created cannot be filled easily. By excluding Turkey Europe is losing a strong partner. If Turkey is excluded from the defence of Europe it will continue to serve within NATO. However, it should not be forgotten that during the operations the EU will undetake it depends on NATO.
Briefly what General Kivrioglu wants to say is that it is not ucceptable for Turkey to carry of the burden while others benefit from it. "
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